For July Fourth, an ID on your pet is a must


Fun-loving Frosty is a jolly, happy soul for sure. He loves hiking, romping in the yard and enjoying the simple pleasures of splashing around in the kiddie pool after an adventure. He loves treats and is very happy to perform tricks in order to receive them. He learns commands very quickly and, like the excellent student he is, will repeat them as often as he can (or until he gets a yummy treat). Frosty is available for a 10-day adoption trial! Learn more at

This Forth of July, Pasadena Humane is joining the LA Lost Pet Coalition, a group of 21 local shelters that have teamed up with Petco Love Lost and are working together to get lost pets back home.

The new coalition is committed to education that will prevent lost pets from entering shelters, as well as efforts to get those who do enter shelters home more quickly.

Shelters across the LA area will be using Petco Love Lost, a free national database for lost-and-found pets. The database uses patented image-recognition technology to simplify the search for lost pets by using just one photo of a pet.

Petco Love Lost includes photos of pets from nearly every shelter in the Los Angeles area, in addition to pets reported lost or found by community members.

The LA Lost Pet Coalition is launching at a truly critical time for animal shelters. The extended 4th of July holiday is one of the busiest times of the year at animal shelters nationwide. Fireworks can terrify pets, causing them to run away in search of safety.

AmericaFest in Pasadena may be off the calendar this year, but a huge fireworks display is still slated at the Rose Bowl following the July 4 LA Galaxy vs LAFC soccer game.

Plus, illegal fireworks remain commonplace and may be heard in the weeks preceding and following the holiday itself.

You can take steps to help your furry friends stay safe during fireworks season.

For starters, keep your pets indoors and ensure all doors and windows are secure. You might consider using over-the-counter or prescription calming aids if your pet is distressed.

We also recommend taking your dog for a walk before the fireworks start and leaving them at home if you plan to watch a big display.

Even with the best of intentions, pets may escape. In fact, Petco Love Lost estimates that 1 in 3 pets go missing during their lifetime.

That’s why one of the best things you can do as a pet owner is to be sure your pet always has identification. This can be a tag worn on your pet’s collar, a microchip, or ideally, both!

Current identification is always a lost pet’s best ticket home. Here are a few reasons why:

Community reunification: Most lost pets don’t wander far from home. If your pet escapes, chances are that a neighbor will find them. With an ID tag, your neighbor can immediately call or text you for a quick reunion.

Free ride home: Our animal control officers are equipped with microchip scanners in their trucks. If your lost pet has ID, an officer will drive them directly home if they can reach you.

Shelter connections: We immediately scan all pets entering the shelter for a microchip. If the pet has an ID, our staff will repeatedly try to contact the owner through phone, email and/or text.

It’s not too late to get your pet an ID tag before the holiday. You can pick up a custom engraved tag at the Pasadena Humane Shelter Shop or your local pet store.

I also encourage you to license your dog. First of all, it’s the law. A pet license is another form of identification that can be worn on your dog’s collar including proof of rabies vaccination.

If your pet gets out over the Fourth of July holiday, or any other time of the year, it’s best to start your search immediately.

Post their photo on Petco Love Lost, Pawboost and Nextdoor. Hang flyers in your neighborhoods to alert your neighbors. Also, be sure to check all shelters throughout the area.

For more Fourth of July safety tips and to view lost and found pets, go to

Dia DuVernet is president and CEO of Pasadena Humane.

This blog post originally appeared as a column in the Pasadena Star-News on June 30, 2023.